Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Iron Gun recovered in 1973 from the St. Lawrence River

Information provided to Dennis McCarthy, St. Lawrence River Historical Society on April 16, 2008 from Charles Trollope, Noted Independent Ordnance Expert,

Ref: Iron Gun recovered in 1973 from the St. Lawrence River off Fort Haldimand, Carlton Island, Cape Vincent, NY

The gun is a 9Pdr of 9 Ft 6 Ins (guns are recorded to their nearest 6 Ins). It was cast between 1731 and 1748. Probably in the period 1731 - 1734. 9pdrs for garrison service (usually long guns) were sent out to New England, including Boston, in 1754. On 19th May 1757 Govenor Shirley took some guns, including 2 X 9drs, out of Boston for service at Oswago and Crown Point. None of these guns were returned. More guns were taken later by Abercromby but these would seem to have been the 18Pdrs of which two burst in the defense of Fort William Henry.

Either at Oswago of Fort William Henry your 9Pdr passed into French hands. At the end of the war it was back in British hands at Oswegatchie and the rest of the guns history you have.

Details on the gun:- Without the trunnions, I cannot reduce the date range nor can I identify the gun founder and where it was cast except to say that it was cast in the Weald.

The figures on the base ring are of interest. XXII is the battery number put on by the French and the number 3268 is the gun weight in French pounds. The difference between the British weight and the French is just 2 pounds. The hard work was finding which French pound was being used! The British battery number is by the cypher - the "6".

The "BA" is a problem. It would not have been put on while the gun was in British hands - against regulations! There is a 12 Pounder at Fort Erie with the same "BA" but that gun is a civilian piece having a Crown and "P" instead of a cypher. The 12Pdr was captured and returned to British hands after the fall of Fort Niagara on the 18th October 1813. By then the "BA" had been inscribed. There is no record of this gun's previous history.
French weight in
French pounds
XXII is the battery
numberput on by
the French 
 cypher & mark

British weight